Month In Review: June 2020

Monday, 6/1/2020 – We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary by making our final run-around trips and tying up loose ends before we head out of the marina for a while hopefully soon. We’re SO excited to actually get moving a bit, after spending the last two months at the marina! Extended time on the boat at the marina was well worth it, as our to do list is nearly non-existent at this point, but, we’re ready to MOVE!

Tuesday, 6/2/2020 – Our plan for today was fairly straightforward…prep the boat to get moving, mark the anchor chain, haul the dinghy and get the heck out of the marina around lunchtime. Instead, we didn’t get done working until a little before 7pm and spent the night in our slip. HAHA! We decided that instead to go ahead and remove and replace our anchor chain today instead of just mark the old chain, which ended up taking two trips to Bacon Marine and nearly all day. The project went well, though, and the boat was out of our slip for most of the day, so, that’s something! We’ll see what the weather looks like for the next few days…

Wednesday, 6/3/2020 – Some marina neighbors informed us that the weather called for possible 60mph winds today, so we decided today wouldn’t be an ideal day to leave the marina. It turned out to be another project-filled day, as we noticed the hanging clothes bar in the wardrobe had buckled under the pressure of all the hanging clothes we stuffed inside. A bit of planning, a trip to Lowe’s and a little while later, we have shelves in the wardrobe that increased our storage capacity quite a bit! We feasted on the first BLT’s of the season – YUM! After the sun receded a bit, cocktails in the cockpit were a beautiful way to wrap up the day.

Thursday, 6/4/2020 – We spent most of today working on a solution to our anchor-coming-too-close-to-the-bow problem, with some success. Some pretty gnarly storms rolled through after dark, complete with plenty of lightning, thunder and gusty winds.

Friday, 6/5/2020 – We spent the morning continuing to work on our anchor issues before calling it quits for the day around lunchtime. We headed to The Jetty for a break, some cocktails and some lunch. It’s the first time we’ve actually been to a restaurant since mid-February, I think? It was a nice treat and since we quit boat work early today, we spent the rest of the day enjoying some relaxation in the air conditioning.

Saturday, 6/6/2020 – Itching to get out of the marina got the best of me around lunchtime today. We got the boat ready and headed out to Marshy Creek to anchor for a while. I was surprised how much more breeze was blowing once we got out of being boxed in by big boats at the marina. We finally got to go swimming, too, which was GREAT! It was around 85° today so wallowing in the cool water felt amazing. We watched the sunset from the bow, even though it was obscured by the condo highrises. After sunset, we ran the generator for an hour to make hot water for showers, run the AC to cool the boat down and charge our batteries (which were only down to 88%). We shared the anchorage with another boat and slept well at anchor, with a pleasant breeze blowing.

Sunday, 6/7/2020 – We spent an absolutely beautiful day anchored in Marshy Creek. We woke up to PERFECT weather – 71°, 57% humidity and N winds at 11. We hung out in the cockpit for most of the morning, since it was much quieter than Saturday with much less boat traffic. After lunch, we took the dog to shore and spent some time walking around the trails at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and saw some water turtles and osprey.

After the sun went down, we started the generator to charge our batteries before bed. About 20 minutes after starting the generator, it shut off. Josh investigated and determined that the coolant overflow container was completely full, meaning the generator was overheating. After some quick Googling, we think the heat exchanger may need flushed out, so that project got added to the list. Josh also determined that our automatic bilge pump float switch is not working, so we need to replace that, too. It was cool enough to sleep comfortably with the windows open and that was a blessing.

Monday, 6/8/2020 – We decided to head back to the marina to get the stuff needed to flush the generator’s heat exchanger and fix the bilge pump float switch. Josh has scuba stuff to do in Central PA on Thursday, so we were planning on coming back to the marina before then, so, no big deal. While we were getting ready to hoist the dinghy on deck, I saw a grey fin in the water off the back of the boat. It was a dolphin! We spent the next hour watching what must have been 30+ dolphins completely surround the boat. It was INCREDIBLE!

We pulled back into the marina around lunchtime and spent some time catching up with our marina neighbors. The dog retreated to his bed, exhausted from his morning of dolphin patrol…

Tuesday, 6/9/2020 – Today was a BIG day around here! I put on makeup and Josh put on underpants! We had a dinner date with our “across the dock” neighbors, like real, non-quarantined people! We headed to The Jetty for dinner and cocktails and spent hours chatting about our pasts, our futures and our plans. Our neighbors are really great people and it’s got me thinking about this “new lifestyle” of ours and how difficult it may start becoming to say goodbye to new friends we make along the way…

Wednesday, 6/10/2020 – Work, school and paperwork stuff has been piling up over the past few weeks and it was time to take a day to take care of all the random paperwork / e-mail / computer / nonsense tasks. I picked a good day to hole up in the air conditioning all day since it was 90° outside! We got a bunch of things checked off the not-very-exciting list and even made time for a nap!

Thursday, 6/11/2020 – While Josh headed back to Central PA (again!) for some scuba stuff, the dog and I stayed at home and kept a watchful eye on the sky, which got darker and darker as the day progressed. I wanted to take a trip back to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center with my actual camera to try to get some good snaps of the wildlife there. But, because the wind’s been blowing 20+ knots from the south for the past ever 36+ hours, the road to get into the center was flooded, making it impossible to get there by vehicle.

Since that was a no-go, I headed to Ferry Point Park, just a few minutes away, which I hadn’t explored yet. Surrounded by three bodies of water (Chester River, Kent Narrows and Piney Creek), I figured it was worth the short trip. Not only did I get some cool photos, but I actually found a natural, sandy beach! The flies and mosquitos were HORRENDOUS so I’m not sure I’ll be hanging out on the beach anytime soon, but, it was pretty beautiful!

Friday, 6/12/2020 – Mission create a puppy pee patch for the bow of the boat complete! Now, the hard part – teaching an old, stubborn dog new tricks…

Saturday, 6/13/2020 – We got two pretty important projects completed today. First and foremost, we spent most of the day flushing the generator’s heat exchanger to try to remedy the overheating / spontaneous shutdown situation that we encountered while anchored out a few days ago. It wasn’t a terrible task, just long, but a TON of yuck came out of the system, which we figure wasn’t helping things at all. We fired it up and ran it after the work was done and did not experience any type of overheating, sputtering or shutting off, so, we’re marking this one “done” until it asks for more help.

I also finished and submitted my final project for the 11-week Project Management class I started back when shit first hit the fan in April. Even though the class was much more intense that I anticipated, I’m really glad I saw it through. It was also a really great test of our internet connectivity and technology aboard the boat. All went well, and, with any luck, I’ll get a great grade! (I went into the final project with a 98%, so, I think I’ll be fine.)

Sunday, 6/14/2020 – We spent the day wrapping up a few projects that were kind of lingering.

Tuesday, 6/16/2020 – A big day for everyone! The dog had an interview at Wye River Kennel this morning at 9am to be considered for boarding for our upcoming trip to Key Largo. Even though Josh wouldn’t let me put a bowtie on him, he did really well and will be able to stay at the kennel (which is only 10 minutes from the boat!) while we’re gone. Next on the list was shopping for a new dinghy to replace our 20-year-old, safety hazard current one. We did really well, as we found an Apex 10′ dinghy with aluminum bottom and bow locker at Annapolis Inflatables in clearance. I LOVE clearance deals! We later learned that the new dinghy had some “discoloration” on the nonskid floor, so they graciously discounted it a good amount which made the deal even better! Now, on to the task of selling our old Caribe…

Wednesday, 6/17/2020 – We picked up our new dinghy today and can’t wait to get it in the water!

Saturday, 6/20/2020 – While Josh was in Pennsylvania scubaing, I made another go at checking out the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. I got a little luckier than I did last time, in that I was able to get into the center, but, some pretty gnarly storms chased me back out not long after I arrived. I was able to grab some pretty cool photos before the rain began to fall, though.

And, after the storms passed through, there was a stunning rainbow that our dock neighbors got to enjoy from their anchorage in Marshy Creek.

Sunday, 6/21/2020 – When we filled our new propane tanks on 4/7/2020, we had no idea how long they would last with us cooking every single day on the boat. I’m really happy to report that our first propane bottle finally ran out today. We’re pretty impressed with how long it lasted! I guess it makes a pretty big difference now that they’re not leaking all the time…HAHA!

Tuesday, 6/23/2020 – When we picked up our new dinghy a few days ago, we realized that there was a bit more going on than just some “discoloration.” When the staff were washing the dinghy before we picked it up, they used some type of corrosive chemical to clean the floor. Unfortunately, the corrosive chemical did a pretty bad number on the plastic sticky floor mats, causing not only discoloration but the adhesive on the floor mats to let loose and the mats began to peel off. I had already suggested that we put down another floor covering to make sure the aluminum floor didn’t get too hot to stand on in the sun. Turns out, the discount we received for the error way more than covered the price of the floor covering I wanted, so, hurray! We ordered some SeaDek from Amazon and it got delivered today. We got busy recovering the floor and are really happy with how it turned out! This SeaDek stuff is pretty awesome – 5mm thick so it’s like foamy and super simple to cut to size and stick on.

Wednesday, 6/24/2020 – We dropped the dog off at his new kennel, packed the truck and hit the road, Key Largo bound for Josh’s Instructor Exam with Rainbow Reef. It’s hard to believe in just a few short days, this new lifestyle of ours will allow Josh to become a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor.

Thursday, 6/25/2020 – After an uneventful drive, we got to Key Largo around lunchtime. It feels GOOD to be back in Key Largo! Hungry for something other than truck-stop food, we stopped at Key Largo Fisheries for lunch before an early check-in at the hotel. After a post 24-hour-car-ride shower and nap, Josh began prep for his Instructor Exam.

Friday, 6/26/2020 – Josh dove the lagoon at Jule’s Undersea Lodge in the morning and got to hang out, up close and personal, with a manatee that accompanied the group. We grabbed a quick lunch before Josh got back to studying and reviewing. Josh had a orientation for his instructor exam weekend at 6pm then we headed for dinner at Skipper’s. We called it an early night so that we could head back to the hotel for Josh to put his presentations together for tomorrow.

Saturday, 6/27/2020 – Josh’s instructor exam began at 7:30am for his skills circuit and confined water teaching demonstration. He got great scores on both! After a quick lunch and cramming, he headed for some written tests at 12 noon then on to classroom teaching demonstrations afterwards. He finished up for the day, got back to the hotel around 3pm and shared that he had done really well on his written tests. HURRAY – Another step closer! We grabbed some dinner at Snook’s Bayside and got to enjoy the beautiful weather, dining outside.

Sunday, 6/28/2020 – It was another early morning for Josh! The 5:30am alarm signaled his final day of Instructor Exam tasks. We weren’t really sure how today was going to play out, as there were only a few quick items to complete in order for Josh to complete the requirements of the instructor exam. Much to my surprise, shortly after lunch, Josh appeared back at the hotel with his instructor certificate in hand! He did a fantastic job on all the requirements and beyond met the expectations for becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor! (Josh is working on a post about his experience with the Instructor Development Course and Instructor Exam, so, if you’re interested in that, check back soon!) We spent the afternoon decompressing about the whirlwind weekend (and some other things…) before enjoying our last dinner with our traveling companions at the Pilot House.

Monday, 6/29/2020 – We had a hard time thinking that we were going to leave Key Largo without actually doing any dives just for fun. And, since I won a FREE dive trip from Rainbow Reef way back in 2018, we figured we might as well take advantage of getting some really cheap dives in on such a beautiful day! We booked spots on the Serenity dive boat with Rainbow Reef and got in two great dives before lunchtime! I was thrilled that I got to dive the Benwood again, since I’ve been wanting to revisit it since 2018, and, we also got to check out Christmas Tree Cave at French Reef. The water was WARM, the dives were great and Josh grabbed some cool photos. After the dives, we hopped back in the truck and headed toward Maryland. We’re like a traveling roadshow these days!

Tuesday, 6/30/2020 – We pulled into our Maryland marina around lunchtime after an pretty uneventful drive back from Key Largo. (In case you’re wondering, Josh did not stop at South of the Border, AGAIN.) We spent the rest of the afternoon attending to the typical boat chores – filling water tanks, doing laundry, putting things away so we can move inside the boat, etc.

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